Got a new ramp to assist your dog with entering and exiting your vehicle, but your dog won’t use it?
No problem! With a little love, patience and conditioning, your dog will learn to use the new ramp confidently and without hesitation. The new dog ramp will quickly become a staple of travel, for both you and your canine companion.
As avid dog lovers, we are all too aware that the function and usefulness of a dog ramp is not necessarily “intuitive” to all dogs. Many dogs must be acclimated to both the logic and the stability of a dog ramp before they will actually use one. Keep in mind, that just because your dog may not immediately understand what the ramp is for, this does mean your dog is any less intelligent than one that shows no initial hesitation toward the ramp. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, your dog might just be a little more cautious and weary of new obstacles. Just like everything that’s new in life, using the ramp may be difficult at first, but once your dog does it once or twice, it will become second nature.
Customer feedback has been instrumental toward the need of the following information. It is not uncommon for us to receive letters and phone calls from dog owners who are experiencing this very same issue.
One customer wrote “I have a senior Labrador with arthritis that affects her ability to jump or climb into vehicles as well as into the bed at night, and I felt that it would be much easier for her to get into and out of my truck as well as up onto the bed with some dog ramps. So I purchased a folding ramp for my truck and another one for the bed she sleeps on. Of course, my dog won’t use either ramp – How do I get my dog to use the dog ramp?”
We did some research into this common problem and found quite a few unconventional ideas, as well as some pretty interesting ones. We found some information online, and in books, but our most reliable feedback came from Dog Agility Training Experts. After reviewing our findings and identifying the most widely recommended ways of going about teaching a dog to use an elevated ramp, here’s what we found to be the most non-invasive and successful method of conditioning a dog to trust and use a dog ramp.
Once your dog can walk up and down the ramp from the ground to the greatest incline, he or she is ready to begin using the ramp to enter and exit your vehicle. Your dog might catch on quickly, or it may take more conditioning. Feel free to adjust the steps above to best suit your dogs’ learning curve.